Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced today that MICHAEL L. FONTANA, dob: 10/14/1974 of Branson, Missouri entered a “stand up” plea to four felony cases in front of Taney County Circuit Judge Mark Orr last Thursday. MICHAEL L. FONTANA entered a plea of guilty without a plea agreement to two counts of the class C felony of stealing, one count of the class B felony of sale of a controlled substance and one count of the class C felony possession of a controlled substance.
On April 24, 2008 an undercover officer with the C.O.M.E.T drug task force purchased approximately one and half grams of methamphetaine from MICHAEL L. FONTANA outside the Shady Oaks Motel in Branson.
On September 19, 2008 MICHAEL L. FONTANA entered the Walmart Supercenter in Branson, Missouri and stole a laptop valued in excess of $500. MICHAEL L. FONTANA was identified from a survellience video that should him tampering with the security case for the laptop display and concealing the laptop in his pants as he left the store.
Between June 16, 2009 and July 21, 2009 MICHAEL L. FONTANA entered the Target Store in Branson, Missouri on multiple occassions and removed digital cameras from their packages and concealed them in his pocket before leaving the store. MICHAEL L. FONTANA was again identifed from survelliance videos showing the thefts.
On Janaury 28, 2010, members of the Taney County Sheriff’s Department, Branson Police Department, and C.O.M.E.T. Drug Task force served a search warrant on a hotel room at the Branson Inn. During execution of the search warrant officers remobed methamphetamine, methamphetamine parpahernalia and marijuana from the room. MICHAEL L. FONTANA was removed from the hotel room and arrested.
Formal sentencing is set for December 9th, 2010. As there was no plea agreement in connection with these charges, MICHAEL L. FONTANA faces the entire range of punishment for each offense. The class B felony of sale of a controlled substance has a range of punishment of five (5) years to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The two counts of the class C felony of stealing and the one count of the class C felony of possession of a controlled substance each have a range punishment of one day (1) to one year (1) in the Taney County Jail, or one (1) year to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.